Pipe bomb case amended

  • By Scott Beveridge December 31, 2012

CHARLEROI – Prosecutors have withdrawn a count of bringing a weapon onto school property and will pursue other charges against a Charleroi Area High School senior who faces accusations he was making pipe bombs in his home.

Assistant Washington County District Attorney Darren Newberry said investigators lacked evidence proving Ryan Pfrogner, 18, of Lower Speers, had taken a pipe bomb to school Nov. 16, other than his own admission he had done so.

“No one saw it,” Newberry said Monday.

The investigation led Charleroi Regional police Nov. 20 to Pfrogner’s home at 136 River St., where they said they found two small pipe bombs in his bedroom, and that’s where police will focus their case, Newberry said.

The initial criminal complaint filed Nov. 27 was withdrawn Friday, and a new one was expected to be filed Monday charging Pfrogner with a misdemeanor count of making offensive weapons and a felony charge of risking a catastrophe.

School officials called police after receiving information Pfrogner and an unnamed boy might have possessed homemade explosive devices on school property, police stated in the affidavit. A search of the school was conducted, and no weapons were found there.

Pfrogner, when questioned Nov. 20 by school administrators, allegedly confessed to bringing a live pipe bomb to school and leaving it in his Ford Mustang parked in the student lot, the court record indicates. Pfrogner reportedly told the administrators he detonated that bomb somewhere in Speers Borough after school.

Police said Pfrogner told them he had two additional pipe bombs at home. Police said they then seized from his bedroom two live PVC pipe bombs, gunpowder and a fuse and turned the items over to the Allegheny County Bomb Squad.

Pfrogner had yet to be arraigned in the case Monday. It was not immediately known if he had hired an attorney.

Scott Beveridge has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1986 after previously working at the Daily Herald in Monongahela. He is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s fine arts and art education programs and Duquesne University’s master of liberal arts program. He is a 2004 World Affairs journalism fellow.


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